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Ask FVO!: My Parents Forced Me to Study Law But I Want to be an Event Planner

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Ask FVO NEW PICBellaNaija is pleased to announce a new column for our special readers – Ask FVO! Funmi Victor-Okigbo (FVO)  is an expert in Event planning & management, and is now a  BellaNaija contributor.

Need help planning a family dinner, birthday party, seminar, wedding, board meeting, concert or just curious about how the professionals do some of their amazing tricks? If you have a burning question, just Ask FVO and get a focused, clear, no-nonsense answer!

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Dear FVO,

I was called to bar recently, unfortunately the law profession is something I have never really wanted to do, mostly because I was forced by my parents (4 generation of lawyers). Finally, I know I want to pursue a career in events, but my parents are threatening to disown me if I go ahead with my plans. Do you have any ideas/advice? Please share.

Nkiru

Hello Nkiru,

You have to realise that first of all your parents love you. It’s only natural that your parents would like to see a family tradition continue.

Parents of a certain generation typically don’t ‘get’ this event management business. It’s a bit like acting and modelling – that generation of parents only began to see a future in those professions for their kids after the successes of the Oluchis and the Genevieves of this world. You must remember that it’s only natural for parents to want to ‘protect’ their kids.

Chasing your dreams (especially when your parents have a different view from yours) is particularly difficult if you still depend on them financially. Going for it and doing what you love is easier if you are financially independent. I’ll suggest the following:

  1. To win them over, you must first try to convince your parents about your passion. Hopefully, you have participated in planning family and friends’ events in the past and done a good job. It helps if they have seen your passion for event planning and seen you manage social activities in the family. Get members of your family to help state your case if possible.
  1. Find out what their fears are and try to address them. Perhaps they don’t see event management as a career. Perhaps, they want a return on their investment in your education! Or worse, they see it as a pursuit for irresponsible people who work late into the night. Whatever their reasons are, try to address them by looking for role models who have made a success out of the career. If you have a relationship with any successful event planner you could get them to talk to your parents and if this person is a family friend – all the better.
  1. If you can’t win them over then you must start by getting a job in a law firm to satisfy your parents and then work with an event management company on weekends to satisfy your passion. You can plan to gradually ease into working full time in event management.
  1. Whatever you do, be consistent. Show your parents photos of your work from time to time, look for any and every opportunity to plan an event in the family and just maybe one day you’ll have your way. Or you may just have to do this till you gain full financial independence from your parents and then you can do whatever you like.

In all you do please show your parents respect. Bellanaija readers have you been in a similar situation? How did you handle this?

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Send your questions for FVO to askFVO(at)nosurprisesevents.com stating your name and where you are writing from. The editor reserves the right to edit submissions for content brevity and clarity. We regret that we cannot provide individual answers to questions sent in and cannot state at which exact date answers would be published.

We look forward to reading your emails and tweets with questions.

Funmi Victor-Okigbo (FVO) is the Chief Executive and Lead Production Designer of No Surprises Events. Her corporate client base spans industries as diverse as technology, entertainment, banking, government and consumer goods across sub-Saharan Africa. No Surprises Events practices an in-house methodology termed “Event Architecture” which they hold delivers world class events in a predictable on-time and on-budget fashion. Developed over the years, “Event Architecture” has become the company’s trademark as well as a FVO’s personal approach to creating and managing events for corporate and individual clients. The approach has since been incorporated into FVO’s other venture, The Wedding Company. Visit www.nosurprisesevents.com

7 Comments

  1. Scared homosapiensca

    January 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    My own case is that I am an events planner and I want to be a lawyer now, but my dad no gree. Advice me too.

    • ATl's finest

      January 22, 2015 at 7:23 am

      Lol! Like I always tell people DON’T give up on your dreams! U can DO it ALl. It’s. DO-ABLE

  2. Udegbunam Chukwudi

    January 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Gain full financial independence and you can do whatever you like. Na the koko be that.

    Unlike before, today I’m glad my folks blackmailed me (emotionally) to study medicine. Hunger fit dey fire me now if na arts I do. lol. (I still have hopes for the arts sha)

  3. Bamas

    January 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    There was an article I read today here – thenakedconvos.com/if-you-are-given-n1million-to-invest-in-a-business-to-break-even-by-end-of-2015-what-would-you-do/

    The point is, there is often a common reason why parents are concerned about what they want the children to be and more often than not, our own passions are basically to achieve the same end: financial freedom. Sometimes, as referred in the letter, it could be because of family traditions but even this is because they do not think the child will be more successful with the alternative often presented.

    What I think you should do is basically what is required from the link I put up. Prove to them that you can be successful at what you choose to do.

  4. D

    January 21, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I have a friend who studied creative writing in school and something else don’t remember the something else. When she finished na, na so she say she wan do missionary. Her parents no gree ooo. They insisted she work for a bit and she had to so she did. After about 4-5 years and gaining financial freedom she went to do her missionary deal. Omo she no last 2 years for that thing before she said she was not doing anymore. Guess what she fell back on the degree she was forced to get and the job experiences she had prior to quitting helped her. Sometimes yes our parents may push us to do something other than what we want but like someone mentioned earlier they only want you to have financial freedom. Nobody wants there 40 year old coming to live with them or asking them for financial help. Someone said get financial freedom and then dabble into it if that’s what you really want to do. Once you have financial freedom no one will bother you anymore. But if you want to live under my roof and eat my food while your business takes off which may take 10 years or more, that is, if it ever takes off or you even stick with it. Instead of working and getting paid and getting your own place sooner rather than later. Omo I will make you do the work.

  5. EllesarisEllendil

    January 22, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Wanted to study History, Mother wanted me to study Law. Simple solution I do Law first then History. At 28 I will have 4 degrees. Its really not a big deal. Maybe I am more grateful to my Mother for giving me life.

  6. ATl's finest

    January 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Honestly tho, when will Nigerian parents stop forcing their children to become what they don’t wanna do? Thanks to God for my parents they ve always been supportive and yes, they just couldn’t say no to my medical line of choice.. I get it if the child don’t wanna study something that will be beneficiary . . Infact, everything is beneficary these days.

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